Home Visiting

I try and visit the folk at church every couple months. My success rate in this regard worsens on account of increasing numbers and some needing to be seen more often. I was walking to someone’s home this year when my path was blocked by a fallen tree. I don’t believe Satan controls the weather, but it did make me reflect on the barriers erected to a visiting pastor. Some guard their privacy. Others are too ashamed of an untidy house. Some give entry to the parlour, but not to their hearts. Still others wax lyrically about the grandchildren and hobbies, but cannot sustain a conversation about Christ Jesus. Occasionally, someone will look at me in horror when I suggest a home to visit them, as though I think something amiss in their lives. Am I wanting to reprove them or embarrass them? 

Alec Passmore once told me that visiting was only second to preaching on the pastor’s list of important tasks. I thought this a strange thing to do, as I thought it unwarranted by scripture. In fact it is. For example, in Acts 20:20, Paul says “how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house”. So he taught publicly in church and privately in the home. I’ll confess my visits don’t tend to involve teaching, and there’s a danger they become social calls as friendships develop with people in the church. Yet there is something endearing about seeing the Christian in his native environment- his home.


Through wisdom a house is built,

And by understanding it is established;

By knowledge the rooms are filled

With all precious and pleasant riches.

(Proverbs 24:3-4)


The riches I have most admired in the homes I have visited have no been exquisite ornaments, impressive stores on a shelf or fine, oaken furniture. Rather, the godly living, the regular prayer and the works of hospitality and kindness. May the Lord bless our homes.